The Most Memorable Childhood Experience
Since I never experienced awful poverty during most of my childhood years, I never really understood what it entailed. Nevertheless, I am not from an wealthy family; I have a humble background having been raised by middle-class parents who were struggling to make money and put food on the table for a significantly large family of five. When I was growing up, my father was not around much. He often came home late and left early in the morning before everyone else. For the better part of my childhood, I believe that my father was more of a stranger to me than the head of the family as it is in most homes. However, this point of view was soon to change. As I came later to learn, my father would wish for nothing more than spending time with his family, but circumstances would not allow it.
One of my most memorable moment when I was a kid, and it has played a role in shaping me to the person I am today, is the day my father first took me for a walk in the area where he grew up in the Dominican Republic. I flinched back as the strong smell affliction, and human suffering filled my nostrils. Figuratively speaking, “I did not understand why most of them were stretching their hands towards us”. I came to learn later that they were basically begging for help and money. Apart from the strong smells, the living conditions were also terrible. I had not encountered such again, none of the individuals we came across appeared to have had a decent meal in days. Although I was young, I could feel their suffering; I was sad about their situation. I remember asking my father why they did not go out to look for jobs like he did every morning. However, I came to learn that most of them worked for about fourteen hours a day for a minimum wage and in D. R pesos are worth less and products are expensive. People were sometimes paid below the minimum. They could barely survive on their earnings. Furthermore, most of these jobs were short-leaved since many of them only did manual work, which was not available on a daily basis. As a result, they face numerous challenges especially concerning basic needs. As I later came to learn, my father had planned this journey to help me understand why he was usually out working. The experience was his way of teaching me about poverty, and the suffering one can experience if he or she is not careful more so in the youthful age. As we strolled down the streets, he explained to me that most of the people living here did not have a college degree, which made it more challenging for them to find stable jobs. My father was lucky to get a scholarship and move out of that neighborhood and later to NY. He seized the opportunity with the hope that it would assist him to escape the awful poverty he had grown used.
Although I was still young, the experience significantly challenged my approach to life. I had gained a better understanding of how life could turn out if I failed to do my level best. As a result, I started focusing more on my studies as well as other activities that I set out to accomplish. I developed a fear for poverty. I did not want to live like the people I had seen nor did I wish for my family. Poverty is harsh, and I wish that the society can take charge and address the issue. I have come to learn that even though poverty appears to be a significant problem, it is only that the authorities do not do much. For example, I learned that the money the entire world spends on weapons could be used to eradicate poverty in about twenty years. If only our governments could focus their attention on such issues, fewer people would be suffering in such large scales. I believe that individuals should not lack their basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothes. Nevertheless, we have no option but to accept the situation as it is and work hard towards improving it.
As such, I have dedicated most of my time to work hard in school in the hope that I will not be part of the statistics but rather a solution to the menace. Currently, I am considering starting a charity organization whose aim will be to assist the less fortunate in the society, primarily through education. Beyond doubt, offering the young ones a chance to learn presents such families with the hope for a brighter future. Undeniably, the experience with my father taught me a valuable life lesson that will serve to guide me for the rest of my life. Whenever I recall that journey, I remember my goals in life and continue working hard towards their realization. Moreover, I hope to come up with a sustainable solution that can help to eliminate poverty not only in our community but also in the world over. I believe that children should not go to bed hungry where as some people have more than enough. I hope to create a network that will facilitate the sharing of resources as well as mentorship programs that will help to bring hope for the poor.
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